The third day of the 2015 NFL combine showcased the most impressive and coveted athletes in this draft class; the linebackers and defensive linemen. Mike Mayock, Bucky Brooks, and all the scouts and analysts raved over the athleticism at the position this year.
Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley shocked the world as he matched Jadeveon Clowney’s 40 time and bested Clowney’s rep count by 14! Dante Fowler Jr, Randy Gregory, and Bud Dupree wowed with their overall athleticism.
After such a good day, I started to wonder, ‘will any of these guys last to the 13th overall?’ There are at least a couple of reassuring plot lines appearing that indicate the Saints still have a chance to grab one of them.
The top two teams selecting seem to have an idea of who they will select in April. Tampa Bay is moving closer and closer to Jameis Winston, while the Titans can’t seem to decide on anyone who could be better than Leonard Williams.
3. More rumors are coming out about Jacksonville’s willingness to move the 3rd overall pick. Likely suitors would be the Eagles as Chip Kelly is smitten over Marcus Mariota.
4. Regardless of the source, its hard to believe anything coming out of Oakland. Early predictions have them giving “potential franchise quarterback” Derek Carr a real weapon to throw to in the passing game. Then, general manager Reggie McKenzie says the club will be targeting “real players” in free agency. I find it hard to think they grab another pass rusher after getting Khalil Mack.
5. The Redskins have been linked to Dante Fowler Jr. and Randy Gregory as a great replacement for Brian Orakpo but don’t write that in stone just yet. The Redskins have a lot of holes to fill most notably on the offensive line. Depending on how free agency plays out, they may be looking at other more pressing positions in April.
6. The Jets may not be looking to make a defensive player their first pick in the draft. Rich Cimini has a “preliminary sense” that they are looking to select one of the top receivers in the draft.
7. The Bears had a putrid defense last year and were instantly linked to one of the top pass rushers in various mock drafts. Chicago may be switching to a 3-4 and might be more interested in defensive tackle Danny Shelton who had a very impressive third day and drew comparisons to Vince Wilfork.
8. The Falcons are going to get a pass rusher. It’s their major concern heading into the draft. It’s just a matter of who will the select with the 8th overall pick.
9&10. The Giants and Rams both need offensive linemen like yesterday. Eli Manning needs to stay cleaner for the Giants to perform better and whoever is under center for the Rams will need it as well.
12. The hope and prayer in Cleveland is that the Browns have learned from last year’s mistake of not taking a wide receiver in the draft with Gordon’s availability nebulous at best last year. Of course, we are talking about the Browns but the smart thing to do would be to grab a good receiver.
As it stands now right now, the Falcons are the only other team that is definitely taking a pass rusher in April, with many other teams with other positions to fill. Free agency will play a big role in team decisions in April, but the Saints have a good shot at one of the trio of Fowler Jr., Beasley, and Gregory.